USD Student Organizations Advocate Condom Use 2009: Groups Organizations

USD student organizations advocate condom use

Groups and organizations at USD are encouraging students to stay safe in their sex lives and reminding everyone of the health concerns associated with
sex by hosting events to raise awareness. People younger than 24 have a greater chance of being infected since they are more apt to be sexually active with more than one partner, said Dave Morgan, STD program manager for the South Dakota Department of Health in Pierre. “I’m sure that age group is largely college kids,” he said. Last week, the Health Enhancement Led by Peers (HELP) program held a condom bingo night to educate students about sexual safety, facts and statistics. “The message we hope to get across is (condoms) are not always 100 percent safe, but we want to say it is a safe way to go about having sexual intercourse,” HELP President Angela Goeringer said. Another reason for promoting sexual safety this month is because Valentine’s Day is a time when a lot of people are sexually active, she said. More than 30 people attended condom bingo in the Commons Feb. 10. Students sat around the cafeteria tables with a bingo card and Valentine candy hearts as their dopers. Goeringer read aloud health questions from a PowerPoint presentation while the students filled their card whenever they had the correct answer. Whoever had a bingo had a choice of a pack of condoms, a health poster or a large Valentine’s pencil. The bingo night proved to be beneficial to some of the students. The USD College Democrats held a charity event last week called “Cans for Condoms,” where students exchanged cans and other donated items for condoms and information packets on sexual health. All donations from the event were sent to the Vermillion Food Pantry. “We want to make sure people are living a healthy sex life,” said junior Shane Bryan, a member of the College Democrats. According to a survey taken in 2005, 61.2 percent of students in the past five years have reported having sexual intercourse. “I thought it would be a little higher,” Garry said. “It’s surprising that the statistics are not higher since other schools refer to USD as the ‘University of Sex and Drugs.”’ Senior Becky Lamprecht said before she heard the survey results, she assumed that 90 percent of students have engaged in sexual intercourse. “I really thought it would be higher,” she said. “This generation is known as the ‘hook-up culture.’” The survey also showed that 20 to 25 percent of sexually active students have reported having an STD within the past five years. The most common forms of STDs among people who are 24 years old and younger are chlamydia and gonorrhea, Morgan said. This could potentially cause problems since these bacterial forms of STD’s are often asymptomatic, meaning is doesn’t always cause symptoms so the person might not know they have it. “Some people don’t know how common (STDs) are and how serious the consequences can be because of it,” Morgan said. Freshman Courtney Sirovy thought the number of students who have contracted an STD would be around 40 percent rather than 20 percent because she knows two people who have contracted a sexually transmitted disease and infection. “My friend’s mom had HPV,” Sirovy said. “That makes me more concerned.” Sirovy said she is currently getting shots to protect against HPV and an annual pap smear to determine if she has an infection. Morgan said it is important for people to be aware of how common STDs are and to use protection because condoms are 90 percent effective. But even if people are using condoms, that doesn’t mean they are immune from STDs, Morgan said. “The only safe way is abstinence,” he said. Be the first to comment on this article!
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